The Race: Besieged by Joan De La Haye

February 22, 2018

Please note Besieged is the third book in this series. If you haven’t read book one and two then I suspect this review is going to contain some spoilery moments. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Joanna has survived the wilds of Siberia only to find herself under attack from all sides as well as from within the safety of her Patron’s inner sanctum.

With a war brewing and attempted assassinations, will she be able to save herself and those closest to her? Most importantly, will she be able to keep her head in a fight to the death with no rules?

When it comes to thrillers, I enjoy the unrestrained escapism of the genre. I firmly believe you need to go all out. Action/adventure stories should be fuelled by one hundred percent pure adrenaline. It should leave you breathless and always hungry for more. The Race by Joan De La Haye does exactly that. Published as part of an ongoing collection of short novels, each new episode is worth waiting for.

Joanna Parypinki is settling into her life as part of the global conspiracy that is The Race. Wars are fought, economies are covertly manipulated, and billions of people are managed based on the outcome of this gruelling trial by combat*. Her patron, the enigmatic Von Zimmer, has grand plans regarding his place in the global pecking order. He is finally starting to reveal exactly what those plans are, needless to say Joanna features heavily.

There is a growing sense of urgency to the plot. Different patrons are drawing their own plans against Von Zimmer. You get the distinct impression that everything could kick off at a moment’s notice. The good news is that Joanna is starting to take it all in her stride. The life of a runner is chaotic at best and you have to learn how to act and react instantly. Joanna has come a long way from the mild-mannered character we first met in book one, but I suspect there is still a way for her to go. Other than her mysterious benefactor, who can she trust? Are Von Zimmer’s staff all they seem to be and do they all have Joanna’s best interests at heart?

I love the premise of these novels; there is something wonderfully larger than life about it all. Sitting somewhere between The Running Man, a Bond movie and Spartacus, each new episode of Joanna’s adventures ramps up the action. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, once the series is complete I would love to see a collected edition. The individual books are a short, sharp treat but I’m not sure my delicate constitution can deal with the cliff-hangers or having to wait to discover what happens next.

Musically I wanted to pair Besieged with something that dovetailed with the action theme. I needed music that was suitably hard-core to compliment Joanna’s character. After much umming and ahhing I went with the soundtrack to Mad Max: Fury Road by Junkie XL. Let’s be honest the movie was more about Imperator Furiosa than Max Rockatansky anyway, and she was a total badass, just like Joanna.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a fan of Joan De La Haye’s writing The Race: Besieged is published by the author and is available right now. I highly recommend checking this series out. It’s hugely entertaining and a great deal of fun. Who knows what lies in store for Joanna? I can’t wait to find out. I’d imagine there will be blood, gore and more than a little violent retribution. I certainly hope so.

*For the curious amongst you I don’t think I would fair terribly well in The Race. I’m not sure the outfits would suit, or indeed fit, me. My distinct lack of any martial skill would also ensure a bloody death within a matter of minutes, if not seconds.

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